1 Day Culture tour itinerary for Sea of Galilee: Touring Significant Christian Sites And A Roman Theater
Sea of Galilee
Trace significant moments in Christendom, from Yardenit where Jesus was baptised, and Capernaum, the centre of his teachings, to the Mt. of the Beatitude. Roman influences colour the tour with a visit to the spectacular at Ceasaria.
Visit the beautiful excavated Roman Theater in Ceasaria , echoing theatrical performances of long ago. Today, this theatre still serves as an unusual and spectacular venue for concerts and music festivals. You will also be able to view some of the most recent excavations including the newly uncovered hippodrome (a stadium used for chariot races, remember “Ben Hur”). A little way on, hugging the seashore, lies an aqueduct once used for conveying the city's water. Almost 1000 years ago, the Crusaders rebuilt and fortified part of the city.
Drive to Yardenit, a place that provides pilgrims and tourists with modern comforts in the biblical setting of the Holy Land, offering a serene and spiritual setting for those wishing to baptize in the River Jordan:“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove, and a voice came from heaven; ‘Thou art my beloved Son, with thee I am well pleased.” Mark 1:9-11.
Visitors to Yardenit are greeted by this very verse from Mark’s account of the baptism of Jesus in over 80 languages and dialects, depicted in hand painted tiles by Armenian artist Hagop Antreassian on theWall of New Life.
Continue to Capernaum, home of Peter and center of Jesus’ preaching. At Capernaum – known as Jesus’ “own town” (Matt. 9:1) – “walking where Jesus walked” takes on a thrilling new meaning.
As you sit on the stone benches of Capernaum’s ancient synagogue, you’ll be reminded that right here, Jesus taught (Mark 1:21; John 6:59) and healed a man possessed by an evil spirit (Mark 1:23-27).
At Capernaum – known as Jesus’ “own town” (Matt. 9:1) – “walking where Jesus walked” takes on a thrilling new meaning. As you sit on the stone benches of Capernaum’s ancient synagogue, you’ll be reminded that right here, Jesus taught (Mark 1:21; John 6:59) and healed a man possessed by an evil spirit (Mark 1:23-27).
It was the synagogue on this very spot, whose foundations you can still see, which Luke says was built by the centurion whose servant Jesus later healed (Luke 7:3-5). Jesus also raised from the dead the daughter of this synagogue’s leader (Luke 8:49-53).
The ruins that surround you here, from homes with ordinary tools of daily life to intricately decorated stone carvings, are powerful reminders of Jesus’ prediction about this town (Matt. 11:23). A highlight is Peter’s house, where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law (Matt. 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31). Peter’s house was a simple dwelling, like many others that archaeologists have unearthed in this small fishing and farming village. But unlike the others, here Christian pilgrims over the centuries left no less than 131 inscriptions on the walls. Jesus’ name appears frequently, as does Peter’s, along with crosses, pilgrims’ names and blessings.
Eventually, in the mid-fourth century, a large church was built, whose mosaic floor you can still see, with Peter’s house as its center piece. Some years ago a modern church went up above the ruins. These walls, old and new, attest to the continuing reverence for the site of one of the best-loved healing stories of the Gospels, here in the heart of Capernaum, the center of Jesus’ Galilee ministry.
Proceed to Tabkha- Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and the Fishes* The feeding of five thousand (Luke 9:12-17).
Drive to the Mt. of the Beatitude, The so-called "Sermon on the Mount" is recorded in Matthew 5-7 and Luke 6. The alleged discrepancy between Matthew's version being on a hill and Luke's being on a level place is easily reconciled with observation of many level places on the Galilean hillsides. Scripture gives no indication of the exact location of this event, but the Byzantines built a church to commemorate it at the bottom of the hill. Some of Napoleon's men placed it on the nearby Arbel mountain.
The mountain is topped by a Catholic chapel built in 1939 by the Franciscan Sisters with the support of the Italian ruler Mussolini. The building which was constructed by the noted architect Antonio Barluzzi is full of numerical symbolism. In front of the church, the symbols on the pavement represent Justice, Prudence, Fortitude, Charity, Faith and Temperance. Inside the church hangs the cloak from Pope Paul VI's visit in 1964.
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Sea of Galilee
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This tour is offered throughout the year.
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